BMW Group celebrates 100 years of car production at Cowley


BMW Group celebrates 100 years of car production at Cowley

One of Britain's most productive factories has celebrated a century of building cars.

BMW's Plant Oxford passed the milestone on March 28, 2013 – 100 years to the day since the factory's first car, a Morris Oxford 'Bullnose', rolled off the production line.

However, the plant was a star well before BMW arrived at the factory gates in 1994.

Since Cowley opened, factory workers have churned out more than 11.65m cars with the modern day Mini holding a 2.25m share of that figure, and a total of 14 brands' cars have been built there.

A special exhibition was opened with the help of the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin and Harald Krueger, member of the board of management of BMW AG, and a handful of former and current plant workers - one of which was Eric Lord who celebrated his 93rd birthday on March 28 having worked at the plant from when he was 20 years old in 1940 to his retirement in 1979.

And to top off the celebrations, a vintage Tiger Moth biplane - like the type built at Cowley - circled over the plant.

Commenting on the future of the plant, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "A thriving automotive sector is central to this Government's commitment to driving economic growth. By creating jobs and exporting British-made products to global markets, Mini is sending a clear message that this country is open for business. These celebrations are not just an occasion to recognise Mini's distinguished heritage, but a chance to look forward to the vital contribution it will continue to make to manufacturing in Oxford and the UK as a whole."

As part of the centenary event the German firm opened the plant to the press and members of the public with a special exhibition headlining the festivities – and AOL Cars was invited to the party.

Read about the iconic cars of Cowley HERE

100 years of production at Cowley

100 years of production at Cowley